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Identifying and Preventing Workplace Hazards

Any workplace, no matter how safe it may seem, can contain serious hazards that threaten the health and safety of employees and visitors. These hazards often go ignored or overlooked, in many cases because of negligent or inattentive employers. By knowing how to identify health and safety hazards in the workplace, you can notice and avert occupational hazards before they are able to cause harm.

There are three main factors to consider in identifying a health and safety hazard: the hazard itself, the outcome or potential effects of the hazard if it is not controlled, and the likelihood that it will cause serious harm. For example, a weak scaffold can collapse and send workers, materials, and tools falling downward. The outcome of a scaffold collapse can include serious fall-related injuries, crushing, and lacerations. A sturdy scaffold is unlikely to collapse, but a weakened or overburdened one may fail.

Organizations such …